It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

Is Genetically Engineered Cotton Killing Sheep?

page: 1
6
<<   2 >>

log in

join
share:

posted on Jun, 8 2006 @ 08:04 AM
link   
More controversy surrounding both Genetic Engineering and Monsanto. Farmers in India are finding their sheep becoming sick and some even dying after consuming Bt cotton plants. Monsanto denies any connection between Bt cotton consumption and these illnesses/deaths. Monsanto claims that it performed toxicity studies on a wide variety of animals and was found to be safe. Only a thorough and intensive investigation can possibly determine whether or not GE cotton killed these sheep.
 



www.organicconsumers.org
An independent fact-finding team that surveyed three random villages said animals that fed continuously on Bt cotton for up to a week became listless with erosive lesions in the mouth, nasal discharge and blackish diarrhea.

"Animals that have been grazing on non-Bt cotton also, shepherds are reporting that on such fields even if they grazed for 15 days, there was no problem reported. Whereas on Bt cotton, with 3-4 successive days of grazing, they started showing symptoms," said Kavita Kurungati, Researcher.

Critics point out that there was no bio safety study on Bt cotton leaves, which is consumed by cattle during open grazing. But Monsanto says Bt protein is present in miniscule amounts in cotton leaves and a goat will have to eat over 24 tonnes of old leaves to reach the upper safe limit of 4300 mg/kg body weight of Cry 1Ac toxin present in the Bt plant.




Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


While I am not a fan of Monsanto, I do think it's too early to blame these deaths on GE cotton. On the other hand, I think articles like this highlight perfectly the idea that GE products must be submitted to years and years of intensive and comprehensive testing prior to allowing them be used in agricultural settings.

When we're considering our agricultural resources, the stakes are simply too high to allow companies like Monsanto to push their agendas through without ensuring adequate safety of GE crops.

Genetic engineering does have the potential to boost agricultural production, reduce the use of pesticides/fungicides, and in general increase the per acre production of commodity crops. BUT with the caveat that these products must be subjected years of intensive testing.

As critics of Monsanto's efforts with Bt cotton point out: studies on the leaf toxicity of Bt cotton were NOT carried out. WHY NOT? It seems logical to me that if animals were grazing on Bt plants to test the leaves... but then again I don't work for Monsanto.

Related News Links:
www.sourcewatch.org
www.organicconsumers.org
www.ext.vt.edu
www.truthout.org

Related AboveTopSecret.com Discussion Threads:
Monsanto Planting Evil
Monsanto Getting Creepier and Creepier
Monsanto suspends plans to release GM Wheat.
Millions against MONSANTO !




posted on Jun, 8 2006 @ 09:33 PM
link   
Hmmm... maybe should have tried ALIENS are killing sheep.



posted on Jun, 9 2006 @ 12:32 AM
link   

Original news link

"They took one or two sheep from the dead animals. Doctors conducted post-mortem but could not find viral, bacterial or fungal problem with that," said Ramprasad, scientist, Centre for Sustainable Agriculture.


They have no idea how they died, why they died, or both? I notice they [Monsanto] have not ruled out "pesticide residue" as the culprit. Wouldn't the same pesticide be used on the "non-Bt cotton" that was having no ill effects on the other sheep/livestock? Is there any reason to think the Bt protein could cause this? On the surface the Bt cotton seems to be the culprit, for whatever reason, no? At least I saw no mention of this happening to sheep or other livestock feeding on non-Bt cotton, correct?


Hmmm... maybe should have tried ALIENS are killing sheep.


Hey man I voted for it... but as you can see not much to contribute... figure this stuff is right up soficrow's alley though. Also how do you now this isn't aliens doing this? You may have stumbled on to the story of the century here.


What's your opinion on what's happening here? Is there really anything to fear from GE foods... could never really tell if it was a real concern or just paranoia/urban myth.

Either way I only wear polyester leisure suits anyway, cotton's for suckers, so I'm cool. Poor sheep



posted on Jun, 9 2006 @ 07:50 AM
link   

Originally posted by Rren
They have no idea how they died, why they died, or both?

I guess both... I'm not sure they understand what actually caused the sheep to die, nor do they know... umm.... what caused the cause.


I notice they [Monsanto] have not ruled out "pesticide residue" as the culprit. Wouldn't the same pesticide be used on the "non-Bt cotton" that was having no ill effects on the other sheep/livestock?

This is interesting point. Bt is an INSECT toxin, that is the GE is cotton is designed (Yes, designed) to reduce the use of pesticides. Logically, then, wouldn't one assume that the pesticides were on the non-Bt cotton, and applied in more concentrated doses. If you've still got to put the same amount of pesticide on Bt cotton, what's the point in paying Monsanto for Bt cotton seeds?


Is there any reason to think the Bt protein could cause this? On the surface the Bt cotton seems to be the culprit, for whatever reason, no? At least I saw no mention of this happening to sheep or other livestock feeding on non-Bt cotton, correct?

The circumstantial evidence presented in this article certainly appears to suggest this. Of course, I suppose one should consider the source... ie: the Organic Consumers Association. However, I've been subscribing to their newsletter for years now, and I don't think they're sensationalist or anything like that. They are generally pretty level headed for a bunch of neo-hippies. In any case, I thought it worth mentioning.


Hmmm... maybe should have tried ALIENS are killing sheep.



Hey man I voted for it... but as you can see not much to contribute... figure this stuff is right up soficrow's alley though. Also how do you now this isn't aliens doing this? You may have stumbled on to the story of the century here.

Monsanto would probably appreciate the alien hypothesis.


What's your opinion on what's happening here? Is there really anything to fear from GE foods... could never really tell if it was a real concern or just paranoia/urban myth.

In my professional opinion: GMO's in general present a reason to be cautious. It's really arrogant to assume the we can predict all the effects of inserting these genes, especially long term effects. Really the types of difficulties one could see could range from pretty much no effect on the consumer, to allergic responses as a result of this 'new' protein, to the creation of fusion proteins that could reak havoc... perhaps cause cancer or perhaps interfere with the regulation of some essential process.

The final point is pretty much speculation... most Molbiologists don't see any real danger with GMO's. I am in the minority here. I've taken a lot of heat for it over the years too... I personally just feel when your messing around with agricultural commodities, it's better to be prudent.

IMO, being prudent would constitute something like... Oh I don't know... maybe actually testing all parts of the plant for toxicity on animals. Sure, maybe there isn't much Bt in the leaves. However a couple of things could happen. Perhaps Bt 'lost' it's ability to regulate, or perhaps in the environment, it gets expressed more than in the lab, perhaps an interaction with another protein or whatever triggered some bizarre response, or formed some new harmful fusion protein that could only be made in the leaves... I could go on like this all day actually.


Either way I only wear polyester leisure suits anyway, cotton's for suckers, so I'm cool. Poor sheep

Well, you won't catch me dead in a suit, but I wear lots of Poly... it's entirely too humid in the carolinas to walk around in sweaty cotton T all day


Thanks for your response... am working on a u2u to you, but my PC at home is... flaking out.



posted on Jun, 9 2006 @ 11:53 AM
link   
There are more problems with GMO than you'd expect, because these issues are chronically underreported.

I'll give you two glaring cases, just fyi, although i believe we're seeing only the tip of the iceberg. the first example is about a GM growth hormone , the second about an amino acid supplement, which caused a lot of mayhem as early as 1989.

Source#1


[url=

... At the same time, somebody hired C. Everett Koop to come and say that genetically engineered milk and the good old wholesome milk is indistinguishable. Well, it wasn't. Something happened to the hormone that Monsanto made. The FDA said that there was one change in the endamino acid. It became epsilon-N-acetyllysine. FDA had written if there was a a protein change in the middle, there could be Alzheimer's or sickle cell anemia or diabetes. Four months after the hormone was approved, one of Monsanto's scientists, Bernard Violand, published in the July 3, 1994 issue of the journal "Protein Science" evidence that Monsanto made a mistake. Oops! Monsanto created a freak amino acid. Did you ever see that movie "The Fly" with Jeff Goldblum when the fly comes in and he becomes half-human and half-fly? Monsanto created a freak amino acid. Monsanto admitted it but didn't tell the FDA.





Source#2



..
According to U.S. law, the company was allowed to sell the L-tryptophan produced in gene-spliced bacteria without any safety testing because it and other firms had been selling the supplement produced in non-genetically engineered bacteria for years without ill effects. The method of production was considered immaterial. What was important was that the new product was "substantially equivalent" to the L-tryptophan that had been sold for years.
..

The company must have considered this a routine change. However, this seemingly minor tinkering apparently produced a toxic brew. Tests showed that Showa Denko’s L-tryptophan was 99.6 percent pure, well within approved standards. But the tiny proportion of the compound that was considered "impure" contained between thirty and forty different contaminants. One of them, EBT, attracted particular attention from scientists because it was shown to cause some of the symptoms of EMS in rats.




The problem can be summed up as non-existant quality control. The company tests a few protein sequences out of potentially tens of thousands, doesn't care where exactly the genes are inserted or if deletion occurs or strands are asymetrically shortened.

Furthermore, protein sequence doesn't tell everything, spatial layout is also important, nobody tests this, though.


Back on Topic: there's no way to tell this early, but i am certain that IF the GM crop is the culprit, they'll do everything they can to hide it. the EMS issue shows exactly that, the FDA banned the supplement, in order to shift blame away from GMOs - at any cost. there's too much money in the business of patented life and it allows the corporations to own the entire foodsupply through copyright laws.

[edit on 9-6-2006 by Long Lance]



posted on Jun, 9 2006 @ 12:09 PM
link   
First let me preach to the choir...
Monsanto has recently started sueing farmers that grow crops next to them... thus killing the "family farm" in america...

the problem goes like this...
Monsanto grows a crop of super grain, and then, when it pollinates, it tends to get blended with natural grown crops in neighboring farms. Which then change according to the new genes...
so they are tainting the natural crops... which defies the purpose of growing diverse stock, and that makes the farmers mad, because they can then not claim "non-gm" status...
then to top it all off, Monsanto sues them to bankruptsy, for STEALING the GM genes...

My friends... that is like a neighbor crapping on your lawn, then sueing you for the cost of fertilizer... and only big corporations with big political influence get away with it...

Now back on topic:
GM crops can be tested all they want... but they can never truely test the effect to the world over the long haul... they have invented a new form of life, and only God has a clue there...
we can only test for reactions that would cause problems, that would be visable after days, weeks, years... we need to be able to do tests that look at effects over decades, and centurys...

I am not against GM crops research, I am against "open air" non closed system research... that is just dumb... and obviously is a cost cutting method of improving profit, while endangering the public, and wildlife...



posted on Jun, 9 2006 @ 01:35 PM
link   

Originally posted by Long Lance
I'll give you two glaring cases, just fyi, although i believe we're seeing only the tip of the iceberg. the first example is about a GM growth hormone , the second about an amino acid supplement, which caused a lot of mayhem as early as 1989.

Source#1


[url=

... At the same time, somebody hired C. Everett Koop to come and say that genetically engineered milk and the good old wholesome milk is indistinguishable. Well, it wasn't. Something happened to the hormone that Monsanto made. The FDA said that there was one change in the endamino acid. It became epsilon-N-acetyllysine. FDA had written if there was a a protein change in the middle, there could be Alzheimer's or sickle cell anemia or diabetes. Four months after the hormone was approved, one of Monsanto's scientists, Bernard Violand, published in the July 3, 1994 issue of the journal "Protein Science" evidence that Monsanto made a mistake. Oops! Monsanto created a freak amino acid. Did you ever see that movie "The Fly" with Jeff Goldblum when the fly comes in and he becomes half-human and half-fly? Monsanto created a freak amino acid. Monsanto admitted it but didn't tell the FDA.



This brings another interesting point to my mind re: rBGH. Cows given rBGH actually lose weight in their effort to produce copious amounts of milk, but their organs grow. Bizarre. However, even more scary than bizarre is that these hypertrophic organs secrete many times the normal level of hormones. I recall a study that discovered Interleukin 1 levels were something 900% above normal relative to non rBGH. At first no one cared because it was thought that IL1 wouldn't make it through the digestive system. Turns out they were wrong about this. IL1 DOES make it through the digestive system in tact. Even scarier is that human and bovine IL1 share 100% AA identity in other words they are the exact same protein. In humans, excess IL1 levels have been linked to cancer.



Source#2



..

The company must have considered this a routine change. However, this seemingly minor tinkering apparently produced a toxic brew. Tests showed that Showa Denko’s L-tryptophan was 99.6 percent pure, well within approved standards. But the tiny proportion of the compound that was considered "impure" contained between thirty and forty different contaminants. One of them, EBT, attracted particular attention from scientists because it was shown to cause some of the symptoms of EMS in rats.



I remember this. Though I don't recall it being in a GMO... interesting... will have to re-read this stuff... along with about a million other things in my to be read stack.


The problem can be summed up as non-existant quality control. The company tests a few protein sequences out of potentially tens of thousands, doesn't care where exactly the genes are inserted or if deletion occurs or strands are asymetrically shortened.

This IS a problem. Some of the more 'advanced' transfection methods, CRE-LOX, etc are trying to circumvent this problem by providing site specific recombination, but it's all still sequence despendent, and there will be a limited number of CRE-LOX sites available or sites that can be converted to CRE-LOX in any given genome.


Furthermore, protein sequence doesn't tell everything, spatial layout is also important, nobody tests this, though.

Ummm... what do you mean spatial layout? Are talking location in the genome, location relative to regulatory sites, both, others, or what? I think they do test these things, ie: they find out where things insert, but I think the problem comes from not knowing the effects of such an insertion. Perhaps there is no visible phenotype, but it doesn't mean everything is kosher. Though except in some limited cases (CRE-LOX), these types of site specific recombinations are difficult.



Back on Topic: there's no way to tell this early, but i am certain that IF the GM crop is the culprit, they'll do everything they can to hide it. the EMS issue shows exactly that, the FDA banned the supplement, in order to shift blame away from GMOs - at any cost. there's too much money in the business of patented life and it allows the corporations to own the entire foodsupply through copyright laws.

I would imagine this will end up like any typical creation-evolution debate, one side accusing the other of faulty reasoning, poor methodology, unwarranted assumptions, and flat out lying. IOW, it's doubtful that this will ever be 'solved.'



posted on Jun, 9 2006 @ 01:44 PM
link   

Originally posted by LazarusTheLong
First let me preach to the choir...
Monsanto has recently started sueing farmers that grow crops next to them... thus killing the "family farm" in america...

the problem goes like this...
Monsanto grows a crop of super grain, and then, when it pollinates, it tends to get blended with natural grown crops in neighboring farms. Which then change according to the new genes...
so they are tainting the natural crops... which defies the purpose of growing diverse stock, and that makes the farmers mad, because they can then not claim "non-gm" status...
then to top it all off, Monsanto sues them to bankruptsy, for STEALING the GM genes...

Yeah... ummm... Monsanto... is not one of my favorite corporate entities.


My friends... that is like a neighbor crapping on your lawn, then sueing you for the cost of fertilizer... and only big corporations with big political influence get away with it...

Nice analogy



Now back on topic:
GM crops can be tested all they want... but they can never truely test the effect to the world over the long haul... they have invented a new form of life, and only God has a clue there...

And this has always been my biggest complaint. These critters aren't subjected to thousands of years of selection, etc. There really is no way to consistently accurately predict what the results of these types of modifications will be.


we can only test for reactions that would cause problems, that would be visable after days, weeks, years... we need to be able to do tests that look at effects over decades, and centurys...

Really though, there's no way to do this... not and have the products still make sense commercially. Not commercial potential is what should necessarily be a priority, but it certainly is for Monsanto and their investors. Honestly the only way I feel comfortable with GM crops is in negative pressure, 'clean,' isolated, likely indoor growing situations. Of course this sort of defeats the purpose of GM crops though, most are created for the ability to fight of natural pests, etc, not for their ability to be grown hydroponically.


I am not against GM crops research, I am against "open air" non closed system research... that is just dumb... and obviously is a cost cutting method of improving profit, while endangering the public, and wildlife...

Come on Laz, they're protecting us. They plant a guard row or two between GM and non-GM crops. So unless pollen is capable of traveling say more than 10 feet, our crops are perfectly safe.







posted on Jun, 9 2006 @ 02:31 PM
link   
Mattison, we dont always agree totally, but we are on the exact same page here...

I find it peculiar that GM proponants often say, it is just selective breeding with a twist...

yeah... let me know how that shrimp humping the corn is going...

Got any little Shorns yet? how bout some chrimps?

I also dont have a problem with selective breeding... that is how we got corn from maize...
but for the love of the creator...
who thought adding different speicies together and allowing free "roaming" breedable hybrids was a good idea?



posted on Jun, 9 2006 @ 02:50 PM
link   

Originally posted by LazarusTheLong
Mattison, we dont always agree totally, but we are on the exact same page here...

Wow... I must be on a roll. Coming to a consensus with you AND Nygdan in the same day... I better mark this down in my calendar



I find it peculiar that GM proponants often say, it is just selective breeding with a twist...

Believe me, you don't know the half of it. I've gotten into arguments with my colleagues over this stuff many times. Many insist that 'nature does this all the time,' or 'we're only exploiting a natural process.' These are the same types that will tell you toxic waste is a natural product... by some definition of the word 'natural.'


yeah... let me know how that shrimp humping the corn is going...

Got any little Shorns yet? how bout some chrimps?

And this is the issue isn't it. Despite what my colleagues and Monsanto might say, never in nature has a gene from a fish been inserted into a plant by nature. Genes probably can and do cross the genus layer often, at least with microbes... it's the basis of horizontal gene transfer, but swapping genes between Families, orders, classes, phyla, and kingdoms is NOT regularly performed by nature.


I also dont have a problem with selective breeding... that is how we got corn from maize...

Interestingly enough, these are the types of arguments organizations like Monsanto fall back on. Oh were not doing anything new... just what people have done for thousands of years.

Please correct me if I am wrong, but a micropipette, sterile hoods, lipofectamine, and tissue culture facilities are a relatively new addition to the farm.


but for the love of the creator...
who thought adding different speicies together and allowing free "roaming" breedable hybrids was a good idea?

Ironically, science KNOWS this is a bad idea. That's why, in this country anyway, it's illegal to modify brassica spp. Brassicas include broccoli, kale, spinach, cabbage, cauliflower, Kholrabli, broccoflower, brussels sprouts, mustard greens, and probably a few others I am leaving out (actually all of the above are the exact same plant, Brassica oleraca), and obviously represent a significant portion of agricultural commodity crops. Scientist thought it would be bad if GM brassica's were released into the wild, and affected these crops. So apparently we are afraid of this happening with brassica's but not cotton, corn, soy, etc. Admittedly, there is more of a tendency for brassica to be promiscuous, but it's obvious that scientists acknowledge this danger exists.

As long as Monsanto continues to fund basic research in academia though, it's likely that this perception of GMO's is here to stay.



posted on Jun, 9 2006 @ 03:29 PM
link   
I can't believe I missed this thread until now.


I haven't seen you around much lately, mattison, but you're contributions are always a welcome sight. Very interesting stuff, I'm still in the process of reading, but I had one thought worth adding to the discussion.

What if the lesions, diarhhea, etc., popping up in the sheep are not due to the presence of a compound, but rather the absence of one or more compounds? If the GE cotton is modified to repel pests and bacteria and fungus and so on, is it possible that the absence of those things is having a detrimental effect on the sheeps' immune systems?

I mean, there could be an alkaline fungus that normally counteracts the acids in the cotton, and prevents damage to the stomach lining, or something to that effect.

Black stool is usually caused by blood in the digestive system, right?

Just trying to piece things together at the moment...

Edited for grammar


[edit on 9-6-2006 by WyrdeOne]



posted on Jun, 9 2006 @ 03:46 PM
link   

Originally posted by WyrdeOne
I can't believe I missed this thread until now.

Yeah... ummm.... when I posted it, it languished for sometime. I was thinking where in the heck is Sofi, wyrde, laz, lance, and a couple of others. Glad to see you all on board. Still waiting on sofi though.


I haven't seen you around much lately, mattison, but you're contributions are always a welcome sight. Very interesting stuff, I'm still in the process of reading, but I had one thought worth adding to the discussion.

Yeah, I've been pretty busy with life lately... just started posting again a couple of days ago. I had to back off for awhile... was starting to engage in what you once described as 'the digital equivalent of shootin' up the place,' which is a great analogy, BTW.


What if the lesions, diarhhea, etc., popping up in the sheep are not due to the presence of a compound, but rather the absence of one or more compounds? If the GE cotton is modified to repel pests and bacteria and fungus and so on, is it possible that the absence of those things is having a detrimental effect on the sheeps' immune systems?

Hmmmm.... now this is an interesting thought, and something that I'd not considered. It might not be apparent in this thread, but often 'knocking in' one gene can 'knock out' another gene, so with respect to the GE effects, it's a definite possibility. My initial thoughts re: this hypothesis would be does this 'disease' resemble any known vitamin/nutrient deficiencies in sheep. If it doesn't it certainly doesn't rule out this possibility, as it could be a new 'type' of nutrient deficiency related entirely to the GE status of the cotton. If it effected the immune system negatively, I guess we could expect to see either characteristics of an auto-immune disorder, or possibly signs of immune compromised sheep. Great idea, though.



posted on Jun, 9 2006 @ 06:22 PM
link   
Wait a minute. I have no problem with being concerned with GE crops, but before the GE cotton the concern was the toxicity that could be transferred to humans who consumed livestock which grazed on cotton that had very bad insecticides on it to ward of boll weavels and such.

So which is worse? Dead sheep or cancer ridden people?

The perfect world would be organic crops which can survive the pests that try to take them out, but that tends to be hard when you're performing mass-production scale crops. And you still want to be able to go to Wally-world and get your $10 shirt, right?

See, that's the problem I have when I see some one cry foul on the slightest bad news and then try to turn it to some evilness.

Which do you want? $10 shirt, no dead sheep, or no dead people?

HINT: You get to pick ONE - possibly two from the above, but if you pick two I garantee you one of them CAN'T be the $10 shirt.



posted on Jun, 9 2006 @ 07:03 PM
link   

Originally posted by Valhall
Wait a minute. I have no problem with being concerned with GE crops, but before the GE cotton the concern was the toxicity that could be transferred to humans who consumed livestock which grazed on cotton that had very bad insecticides on it to ward of boll weavels and such.

So which is worse? Dead sheep or cancer ridden people?

Val, perhaps you've missed the larger point here. In my mind the issue is not necessarily dead sheep, rather it is the unintended effects of GE crops. So despite the 'extensive' testing these GM crops underwent, if they are causing sheep to die, two things become relevant, a) the idea that the tests were no where near extensive enough, and b) that despite the best available knowledge, apparently we can't predict the consequences of inserting the genes of some organisms into others. All available knowledge indicates that Bt shouldn't be harmful to mammals. This might be evidence to the contrary.


The perfect world would be organic crops which can survive the pests that try to take them out, but that tends to be hard when you're performing mass-production scale crops. And you still want to be able to go to Wally-world and get your $10 shirt, right?

Again, this isn't about economics, this about the sanctity of our commodity crops, and in fact the GE movement as a whole.

That being said... given my livelihood, I am NOT in favor of seeing GE end. I just don't think it's being undertaken in an entirely responsible manner, especially with respect to agriculture.


See, that's the problem I have when I see some one cry foul on the slightest bad news and then try to turn it to some evilness.

Are we perhaps overdramatizing a bit here? I didn't "cry foul"... and from what I can tell, no one else here has jumped to conclusions and proclaimed GE to be "evil."

In fact, the thread seems to be peppered with comments that offer some degree of support for GE, but wish it was undertaken in perhaps a slightly more prudent way. Most of the comments offered further state that it's too early to jump to conclusions about whether GE cotton caused this.

I would say that thus far, the only person jumping to conclusions here is you (Val).


Which do you want? $10 shirt, no dead sheep, or no dead people?

The last T I bought, I purchased at Goodwill for $0.69, but I think that being able to ensure the safety of not only the average consumer, but the livelihoods of ranchers are both within the reach of modern man.

In fact, I know the popular idea is that large scale organic production isn't feasible.
Well, I'd like to invite y'all down to Western North Carolina to observe several of the commercial scale organic farms here. Gaia herbs has pretty much revolutionized mass production of organic herbs. I've been there... seen it. They've got great intercropping, crop rotation, etc. happening, and have practically zero disease. Earthbound Organic somehow manages to farm upwards of 28,000 acres organically for commercial purposes.

These companies aren't the norm, they're innovators for sure, but they're proving mainstream opinions re: organic farming wrong.


HINT: You get to pick ONE - possibly two from the above, but if you pick two I garantee you one of them CAN'T be the $10 shirt.

It's not either or, and I don't see why you insist must be.



posted on Jun, 9 2006 @ 07:04 PM
link   
Well, my plan was to research commonly occurring diseases in sheep, and play symptom-match-maker, but there are too many possible candidates. Any number of these could be the culprit.

www.sheep101.info...

Where to start?

I think there needs to be a lot more done to narrow the field.

At first I thought that it matched well with hemorrhagic enteritis, but according to the website I linked to, it only strikes lambs in the first few weeks.

So, that's out of the question (right?) unless the GE cotton somehow changes the chemistry of the digestive tract to effectively downgrade the natural defenses.

I'd also like to know where in India this is taking place, and what the character of the local industry is like. If it's on the shores of some Pharma fallout zone, then we have one more alternative explanation ready-made.

I don't suppose there have been any examinations of the dead animals? They could narrow it down a lot by examining the corpses.



posted on Jun, 9 2006 @ 08:00 PM
link   
mattison,

All points very well taken and you have made me understand your concerns.
I agree that the death of the sheep could be indicative of not enough testing.



posted on Jun, 10 2006 @ 12:00 AM
link   

Originally posted by WyrdeOne
Well, my plan was to research commonly occurring diseases in sheep, and play symptom-match-maker, but there are too many possible candidates. Any number of these could be the culprit.

Seems like it could be tough with the scant information contained in that article.


At first I thought that it matched well with hemorrhagic enteritis, but according to the website I linked to, it only strikes lambs in the first few weeks.

So, that's out of the question (right?) unless the GE cotton somehow changes the chemistry of the digestive tract to effectively downgrade the natural defenses.
Honestly with respect to pathology, unless you're talking about plants, I am pretty much clueless. I suppose if you were really interested in this you could explore what the causes of this HE are. If it appears to be something that's age regulated... could be interesting... perhaps this protein, and this is NOTHING but wild speculation on my part, deactivates or reactivates some specific loci...

The immune system thing that you mention seems like a more reasonable assumption... but it said 3-4 days... unless the Bt was directly attacking the T cells and B cells... seems kind of unlikely... in general, and again this is out of my area of expertise, but aren't immune things more... chronic and poisonings or toxicity reactions... aren't those more acute? Given the 3-4 day thing... it seems like you'd want to focus on acute disorders.


I'd also like to know where in India this is taking place, and what the character of the local industry is like. If it's on the shores of some Pharma fallout zone, then we have one more alternative explanation ready-made.

Is it though? If I recall the article said something about only Bt eating sheep getting sick... didn't it? It's too late for me to read it again now. If all the Bt fields are in the same proximity this could be an explanation, but if they're more or less scattered, it seems unlikely to me.


I don't suppose there have been any examinations of the dead animals? They could narrow it down a lot by examining the corpses.
Again, I can't comment on this... and while the OCA is good at bringing things like this to light, they're not so hot on the follow up... though I will keep my eyes open, and in reality, I should search for some more... scholarly sources.


Originally posted by Valhall
All points very well taken and you have made me understand your concerns.


Val, Thanks.



posted on Jun, 10 2006 @ 04:07 AM
link   


I suppose if you were really interested in this you could explore what the causes of this HE are. If it appears to be something that's age regulated... could be interesting... perhaps this protein, and this is NOTHING but wild speculation on my part, deactivates or reactivates some specific loci...


The cause (as far as I've been able to figure it out) is a virus that lives naturally in the sheep's gut. It's only dangerous in the first weeks of life, presumably because the body of the animal has to come to terms with it quickly and set up the proper defenses (thicker mucuous membranes and a stepped-up immuno-response), or death results in short order.

I found something interesting, apparently the condition can be prevented in Turkeys if you surgically remove their spleen!


There's tons of literature on this disease in Turkeys, I haven't come across anything specific to sheep yet, after a couple of brief searches. I don't know much at all about sheep spleens (I know precious little about human spleens, for that matter, just enough to protect mine from right hooks).

But since we're already out on a limb, I have a question. Could the same process of protein manipulation that made the changes 'stick' to the plant also be changing the sheep, or perhaps the virus? Were the ewes grazing on the cotton in question before, during, and after pregnancy? Or is this field so new that only one generation of adults has had a chance to munch itself to death?



The immune system thing that you mention seems like a more reasonable assumption... but it said 3-4 days... unless the Bt was directly attacking the T cells and B cells... seems kind of unlikely... in general, and again this is out of my area of expertise, but aren't immune things more... chronic and poisonings or toxicity reactions... aren't those more acute? Given the 3-4 day thing... it seems like you'd want to focus on acute disorders.


Generally, yeah, I think you're right. But when the spleen is involved it immediately makes me question the involvement of the immune system. It also raises the question, when an organism disassembles GE crops, like in the spleen for blood recycling, what does it do with the 'wonky bits' added by scientists? Wouldn't the body freak out and react to the presence of an unknown intruder? Of course, that's assuming the sheep are actually suffering from HEV, and not something else. I just don't know...



Is it though? If I recall the article said something about only Bt eating sheep getting sick... didn't it? It's too late for me to read it again now. If all the Bt fields are in the same proximity this could be an explanation, but if they're more or less scattered, it seems unlikely to me.


Yeah, if they're scattered it's a non-issue. But from what I've seen in the states GE/GM crops are always isolated. It also stands to reason that if there's a shared investment between the creator/distributor of the crop, and some Pharma concern, the experimental fields would be located on property leased by said corporation (which could very well be adjacent to their other highly toxic endeavors).

It's totally up in the air though, there's no doubt of that in my mind at least.


Thanks again for bringing this puzzle to us, I love a good problem.



posted on Jun, 10 2006 @ 04:58 AM
link   


Ummm... what do you mean spatial layout?


The proteins are complex 3D structures, sequence alone doesn't tell it all, (as the case of prions so clearly illustrates). checking only DNA sequences is hazardous, because if the things i've listed so far can get lost in the process, a minor deviation wouldn't even register, probably. Besides, genes interact, so why couldn't DNA sequence insertion be fully accurate and protein formation be slightly off?



==============



Originally posted by Valhall
Wait a minute. I have no problem with being concerned with GE crops, but before the GE cotton the concern was the toxicity that could be transferred to humans who consumed livestock which grazed on cotton that had very bad insecticides on it to ward of boll weavels and such.

So which is worse? Dead sheep or cancer ridden people?

...



Wait, we already have cancer ridden people don't we? it seems to me as if such 'new and cool' technologies are not held to the same standards as their more conventional counterparts. There are high safety standards for nuclear facilities, (with mixed results, btw), yet GM was introduced merely on the premise that cross-contamination wouldn't occur and that the quality (and safety) of the final product wouldn't suffer. promises abound, but very little was done to prevent what sceptics had predicted years ago.

They failed on both accounts, of course with no consequences whatsoever.

another Example: query.nytimes.com...


Genes are not just serial codes like a beginner's computer program, they interact and when # happens, does the product get canned and disposed of in safe manner? of course not, because $$$ >> health and life.

[edit on 10-6-2006 by Long Lance]



posted on Jun, 10 2006 @ 06:07 PM
link   

Originally posted by Long Lance
The proteins are complex 3D structures, sequence alone doesn't tell it all, (as the case of prions so clearly illustrates). checking only DNA sequences is hazardous, because if the things i've listed so far can get lost in the process, a minor deviation wouldn't even register, probably. Besides, genes interact, so why couldn't DNA sequence insertion be fully accurate and protein formation be slightly off?

I'm going to have to ask for further elaboration. I think I understand what you're trying to say. Are you stating that simply because a DNA sequence is inserted, doesn't mean we know what the protein will end up like. I think you bring the prions iinto it to perhaps highlight the idea, that a prion is simply a different energy minima relative to a different structure. And I think what you're trying to say, is that while we know the DNA sequence codes for a certain protein, we don't necessarily know what energy minima this protein will adopt in a potentially radically different cellular context. Does this about sum it up?

It's an interesting notion, and perhaps not unlikely. If you took a protein from a certain context, certain pH, presence/absence of certain electrolytes, certain context with other proteins, it could conceivably adopt a different, and perhaps harmful conformation. It certainly seems possible... you know... this could be tough to search for...

Let's say that this protein does adopt the harmful configuration in this new cellular context. Part of the trick with crystal growth in proteins, is finding the right conditions under which the protein will crystallize. This may or may not resemble cellular conditions. If it adopts this harmful minima only under these conditions, it may not be easy to find. Of course, this is once again nothing more than speculation on my part.




top topics



 
6
<<   2 >>

log in

join